Thursday, February 08, 2007

GPs, MPs and the NHS

The Beeb is carrying a news story about how a large proportion of GPs would prefer to go private and that many have private medical insurance.
Nearly 40% of GPs would prefer to be treated privately rather than relying on the NHS, a survey says.

The poll of 1,723 doctors for Hospital Doctor magazine found 28% of GPs had private health care, compared to 22% of all doctors, including consultants.

Another 10% of the 602 GPs quizzed said they would like to take out private insurance.

Well, that's all well and good, isn't it? As Wat Tyler says, "they're making the rational choice for themselves and their families."
Of course, as with Ruth Kelly and Diane Abbott, there is one teensy caveat.

Although they can quite reasonably go on earning a crust in the NHS, they do owe it to us to get out there and start arguing for the same choice to be extended to those who are not so well placed financially.

Because it's all very well for us plutocrats and NHS GPs to pay BUPA subs on top of our taxes, but most people simply cannot afford to do that. For the vast majority, the NHS blocks the path to improvement.

A little while back, we were urged to support a certain petition by the private health insurance-covered Doctor Crippen.
There is an important principle behind Solomon’s petition. Put simply, until such time as the great and the good start using the NHS—and the state education system—neither will improve.

Quite so. Now, whatever Crippen's reservations, Gerry Robinson did improve the running of that hospital—he did it not only by showing the managers how to manage properly but also by getting the medical staff to contribute, both in terms of ideas and efficiency.

So, perhaps we should start a petition to force GPs and other medical staff (and the management) to commit to using the NHS? After all, put simply, until the people at the top of the NHS are forced to start using it, then it won't improve...

4 comments:

Tristan said...

There is an important principle behind Solomon’s petition. Put simply, until such time as the great and the good start using the NHS—and the state education system—neither will improve.

I disagree. They won't improve significantly if this happens. Perhaps a few will improve, but most people will be left grappling with the stalinist central control ethos.

We need to introduce real competition. Vouchers for schools, some form of private insurance backed by the government for the NHS.

Dr John Crippen said...

Hi DK

Yes, I just caught up with this; the MPs who will not sign ourpetition are hypocritical if, like Tony Blair, they maintain that the NHS is "fit for purpose". It is not. They should say so, and do something about it.

I regret the fact that the NHS is not working well. But it isn't!



John

james higham said...

How would you get the GPs et al to do it? More draconian legislation?

Dr Mustard said...

This is about the difference between primary and secondary care. Only a rich fool would use a private GP - the level of care and access are pretty good for what it costs (£50 per patient per to pay for a GP). Secondary care, which the insurance covers is a different matter....

Not all of us are privately insured. I'm not.

Some of us ARE out there shouting about it. I am.


Mustard